If you google productivity, millions of pages appear. Listed are strategies that give you systems and processes for your productivity based on that author’s experiences. What stands out to me is that while I appreciate each of these approaches and systems, it’s really about reviewing what has worked for me and the hybrid system I created to fit my personal approach.
To improve productivity, start reviewing your work processes.
We are surveyed all the time, when we purchase online and when we go to the doctor. What about a review of your work processes? What do you give high marks and what needs improvement?
Here’s questions to ask yourself?
- What time of day do I work best?
- What’s the best tool I use to capture information?
- What’s my best modality (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, intuitive, cognitive) to capture and create information?
- When do I organize my week?
- What do I use to organize my week?
Asking yourself these questions helps you refine your system and ensures that your tools work for you.
To improve your work processes, think big.
There are tons of productivity methods available. A productivity process give you agility in capturing, managing and executing commitments, communications, and information at a specific time. Here’s a round up of options.
Getting Things Done (GTD): GTD is a method for organizing your to-dos, priorities, and your schedule in a way that makes them all manageable.
The SMART Method: Setting SMART Goals to help you prioritize.
Timeboxing: Converting from a to-do list (daily work plan) to a calendar system
Personal Kanban: Simple system for creating products based on continuous deliveries.
Pomodoro Technique: An alternating series of 25-minute “Pomodoro habit” sessions can help you quickly complete tasks and get things done in a streamlined fashion
Free to Focus: A system to achieve more by doing less
Does one of these mesh with your existing system? Would one of these add to your system or simplify your system? Is there one small step you can change for your system? It’s likely that either simplifying or adding one small step is all the changes you will need or want to make immediately. That’s why I refer to our systems as hybrids, in that we take what works already that we created an add in a mix of other strategies.
To improve your work processes, make your routines solid then find the best tools to enhance.
We’re often to quick to think, there’s an app for that! And there may be an app or other product that will help us be more productive. It’s in spending time with completely syncing your process that’s the most important step before finding the tool.
Here’s what works for me. I have the master list written by category. I add to my master list all the time, from work spreadsheets, work appointments, family activities, email, and text. The paper list is at the top of my planner pad. Weekly I check the lists and add tasks to days of the week. Throughout the year I have added important milestones and appointments. All these appointments work together, including delegating, automating and setting time aside for family. In my process I have combined GTD, Timeboxing and Free to Focus. See what works for you now and how to improve on your system.
More productivity posts here!